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Saturday, 23 October 2010

Firearm Crime, the problem of counting and location discussed

Recorded crimes involving firearms in London in 2009 showing Investigating Borough

Legend - Number of Crimes
Following on from the previous post I am answering the question "Where do these crimes occur?" I am in danger of immediately confusing you when answering this question. There is an assumption with crime mapping that a crime happens in a specific place at a specific time. This of course is not always the case. The commission of a crime can happen over a long period of time in many different places.  Good examples are possession of illegal drugs or driving a stolen car. The location and time of a crime are usually recorded where they are discovered. What about internet related crimes, where are they committed, in cyberspace or the location of the victim, if there is one, or the location of the perpertrator, if that can be discovered? So one way of answering the question is which police "own" the crime and are responsible for investigating it. This is usually to do with physical location of the crime but when this is not easy to establish or where there are many locations then the Home Ofiice rules apply - which defaults back to where it has been discovered or first reported to police if no other rule applies.

So the first map above answers the question by saying which borough police are responsible for investigating and recording the crime. This has been worked out based on a data set of 5587 crime incidents. You notice that in the previous post the total of offence is 5648 - a difference of 61. This is to confuse you further and to further illustrate that numbers are rarely simple with crime counting, this is because on rare occassions the same incident is recorded as more than one offence. This is unusual at the initial reporting stage (which my data set is obtained from) but happens quite often when a crime has been solved and further offences can be added, thus helping the clear-up figures, but that is a different story.

Recorded crimes involving firearms in London in 2009 showing recorded location 

Legend - number of crimes
Whichever way the crimes are counted London is fortunate in having a low level of crime which involve firearms. The most dangerous boroughs appear to be Lambeth, Southwark, Lewisham and Hackney.

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